I visited an old friend recently in the Cariboo Chilcotin. He came out to greet me.

Northern Flicker in her nest in the Cariboo region of British Columbia

I see Northern flickers darting amidst the aspen trees around our home almost daily. They are cavity nesters and they migrate north to breed every spring. I often see them on the ground eating ants which make up almost half their diet.  They actually have a behavior called ‘anting’ during which they use the acid from the ants to assist in preening. Apparently this is useful in keeping them free of parasites.

In the fall, those in BC usually head west toward the coast and then south. According to a research friend of mine, one flicker that was banded, lost its bearing one year and was found in Newfoundland!!

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For information on the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region of B.C., visit these websites:

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association:  http://www.landwithoutlimits.com/

West Chilcotin Tourism Association:    http://www.visitthewestchilcotin.com/